(Closed) Recent "Pseudo-Catholic Revert" Questioning Catholic Wedding

posted 5 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
Member
104 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Hi there,

So here is my story so you have some background:

I too was born into a Catholic family, we went to church every Sunday, I was in public school so my mom had my sister and I take RCIA classes for kids during the week after school since we couldn’t to go to Catholic school. When my mom got a new job she could afford to send us to Catholic HS so that’s where we went. There, I met my  my now husbands family. His father worked for the school and all the kids went there, however, they are baptist.

After graduating HS and moving in with my now sister-in law and starting to go to her church’s youth-group with her and attending Sunday services at the baptist church I have since then “converted” (can you even say that?) to being a baptist. I have been attending a baptist church for 5 years now and have been a member there for 2 years.

For me, I was unsatisfied with the lack emphasis on the Bible at the Catholic Church. I felt as though Jesus’ message was not plainly taught enough and I found myself surrounded by a lot of people who claimed to be Catholic/Christian but did not live their lives by the standards the Bible and Christ preach. That’s why I decided to “convert” I wanted one day to raise my kids in a place where His teachings and Biblical standards are preached and surrounded by people who take that seriously and apply them to every day life. I didn’t find this in the Catholic Community in my city, (very progressive)

So, long story short, since I “converted” and my husband had always been baptist, we got married by our pastor outside in a garden and it was very meaningful. He read passages from the Bible, explained the role of husband and wife and how God would make us one.

My family did think it was strange (being that they are all Catholic) and they do think that I am a bit strange for “converting” but it was a very meaningful blessed ceremony for my husband and I and that’s what mattered to us.

In the end my decision to “convert” and to get married outside the Catholic Church (despite my mother’s dismay) was one I made based on wanting to provide myself and my future children a strong church environment.Personal choice. Nothing against Catholics here…..

If you do intend in being a devout Catholic and raising your children in the Church then I say, of course get married in the Catholic Church, if you are not serious about it though, I’d say do some more thinking and praying and see what is right for you. You wouldn’t want to make that vow only to break it the next Sunday when you’re back at your protestant church.

 

To comment on the baptism of your fiance: Me and my hubby had to be baptised before our protestant pastor would marry us, so I’m not sure about that….

My dad however married my mom (he was not baptised) and he just didn’t participate in the mass. (they had a catholic wedding)

Post # 4
Member
3697 posts
Sugar bee

The first and best recommendation you can get from anybody, Catholic and Protestant alike: Pray about it, and trust God to lead you to the right answer, whatever that is.

Getting married in the Catholic church *is* a major commitment, and you are to be commended for wanting to think it over carefully and only go through with it if you can do so sincerely, rather than just going through the motions for the sake of pleasing your relatives, etc.

To your first bullet point: it’s only a bad idea if you’re not ready for it, and only you can know if you are or not. A good first step is to find a priest you are comfortable with (it sounds like you might have one at your neighborhood church) and talk with him about some of your qualms.

To the second: it IS possible to have non-Catholic clergy participate in a Catholic wedding. Technically only the Catholic priest is the official celebrant, but there are ways that pastors, rabbis, etc., can be involved. Another good thing to discuss with a priest.

To the third: if your FI is unbaptized, then the marriage is considered a “natural marriage” and you are correct that you wouldn’t have a full Nuptial Mass, just the Rite of Marriage for the ceremony. Since only a baptized person can receive a sacrament, the Church regards marriage between a Catholic and an unbaptized person as valid and natural (and will fully support the marriage), but not sacramental.

You might ask your priest if he can give you a copy of the booklet “Together For Life” – it has answers and good explanations for many of the questions you’re asking. (See pp. 4-5 and pp.110-112). You can also find the information at togetherforlifeonline.com

Good luck to you – you will be in my prayers!

Post # 5
Member
1309 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

There won’t be a problem marrying in the Catholic Church if your FI isn’t baptized. You simply need a dispensation from the bishop (special permission basically. It’s not hard to get, at all)

Since your FI is non-Catholic, you could have your Protestant pastor friend participate, in his capacity as a minister, if he’s an important spirtual leader to your FI. You can even get married by him, in his church, if you want to! – you would just need another special permission from the Catholic bishop. But the permission would be given with the understanding that you are doing this to incorporate your FI’s faith tradition. They would treat you like an interfaith couple where you are the Catholic and FI is the Protestant.

If you present it as “here is my Protestant pastor friend and I personally am semi-Protesant too, as well as my non-Catholic fiance” the priest would probably feel concerned about that and want you to pick one or the other.

Otherwise you could also have your friend participate, as a friend, at the Catholic wedding the way any good friend would – doing readings, reading the prayer of the faithful. He just wouldn’t be witnessing your vows.

I echo pps that the best way to handle this is to pray about it. RCIA is a very fascinating process and it might be worthwhile to attend a few RCIA sessions WITH your fiance. There is no commitement required for either of you, or anything. Plenty of Catholics do this if they’ve been away from the Church for awhile or if they just want to get questions answered or know more.

One thing you will find is that there are NO perfect Catholics. I can guarantee you even the Pope has struggles in his faith life. Everyone has teachings or parts of the faith that they struggle with, the key is to not give up the fight. For Catholics, you have to keep learning, keep praying, keep asking for the Holy Spirit to help you with what you don’t understand or what you just don’t believe. In God’s word there is a verse, “I believe; Lord help my unbelief” which is pertinent here.

We are all on a journey that will hopefully end in Heaven where our faith will be perfect (and our souls perfected as well). Until then we have to rely on our loved ones and the community of the faithful to help us keep getting stronger, holier and to keep going on the pilgrimage. That is why Catholicism emphasizes community, the Communion of Saints and so forth. It’s much more community-oriented vs. Protestantism which tends to be about the individual.

So personally I wouldn’t discourage anyone from having a Catholic wedding, simply because they haven’t fully arrived to perfection in belief. It IS imporant to be able to answer the questions honestly and truthfully (you believe marriage is forever and you are marrying of your own free will, you will accept children if they come and do your best to raise them in the Church, you believe that fidelity is a necessary part of marriage).

But if you can do that, let me tell you that a sacramental marriage is PRICELESS. I always feel a tiny bit sad for my Protestant friends whose churches don’t consider their marriage a sacrament. A sacrament is an indelible mark, meaning we think it changes your soul forever. Even in heaven your soul will bear this “mark.” No way could I skip that!

@mrsbiddyf:  unfortunately I think you’re a teeny bit confused – RCIA classes are adult education classes for people who have some interest in becoming/learning more about Catholicism. The classes you went to as a child were probably PSR, or Parish School of Religion classes.

Post # 6
Member
1705 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

@Magdalena:  THIS!!

Getting married in the church and completing that sacrament with my husband was the most monumentally beautiful moment of my life.  It’s helped us a lot in our first year of marriage to remember that this covenant is not just between two people, but between us and God. 

I always joke with my husband (though it’s not really a joke), that it helps me to have God be a part of this covenant because I can be very stubborn and prideful.  Only One is perfect in our marriage, and it’s not me or my husband!  lol  So it helps me to humble myself to God and my husband and put the marriage before my pride sometimes. 

ETA:  When I say “church” I mean Catholic church.  Because in the Catholic Church, marriage is a sacrament. 

Post # 7
Member
35 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: March 2013

I don’t have too much to say, just that I think it’s really cool that you’re being honest about the process and asking questions. God is CLEARLY working in your soul!

On a side note, I have found my Catholic faith with all the saints, the teachings, the Scripture study (have gone to both protestant/non-denom studies and catholic ones and contrary to popular belief catholics LOVE the Bible!), and most importantly the Mass to be the most exciting and humbling journey I have ever been on (and I’m a cradle Catholic). The most exciting times for me was when I DIDN’T know how I felt about everything and started researching. Such a beautiful thing.

I recommend picking up some reading from Christopher West. His book “Good News about Sex and Marriage” is pretty darn interesting and I was reading up on the Church’s teachings on marriage long before I was even dating my now FI.

Best of luck to you in your faith journey!

Post # 8
Member
104 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@Magdalena:  That may be, but they called them RCIA. I’m not sure why.

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